What We Know About Indian Startup Cordelia Cruises

With just one ship in its fleet, the new kid on the cruise block Cordelia Cruises has quickly made some headlines. The reason is that that one ship is none other than the former Royal Caribbean International ship – the Empress of the Seas.

The Indian startup announced the purchase of the ship in late December 2020. Cordelia’s parent company, Waterways Leisure Tourism Private Limited, previously acquired Jalesh Cruises, which announced bankruptcy in October 2020, after only around a year since launch.

Jurgen Bailom, who headed Jalesh, was appointed the president and CEO of Cordelia Cruises.

In a press statement, Bailom said he was “continuing the legacy of Jalesh Cruises in upholding the spirit, culture, and value of ‘Incredible India’ and being the evangelist of Joy by curating memorable cruise holidays that delight customers.”

Post-purchase, the Empress of the Seas was renamed as the Empress. According to photo and video footage, the Empress now bears a large “Cordelia Cruises” logo on its hull.

According to Cordelia Cruises’ website, the cruise line will be sailing two- to seven-night itineraries to Sri Lanka, the Maldives, and across India. The soonest cruise available for booking departs on June 5, 2021, with a seven-night itinerary around India and Sri Lanka.

The cruise line positions itself as “India’s first premium cruise liner.”

“True to its name, Cordelia aspires to promote and drive the cruise culture in India through experiences that are stylish, luxurious and most importantly, inherently Indian. Cordelia is a cruise liner for Indians catering to the way Indians love to holiday,” the cruise line wrote.

Cordelia Cruises will offer several dining options onboard the Empress – such as oriental, continental, Mughlai and Indian street food.

“Take your taste buds on a Southeast Asian tour with our in-house oriental restaurant featuring delicacies from Japan to Thailand. Or experience a lavish meal curated by our talented in-house chefs, or, if you are looking for something quick, substantial and satisfying, choose from a number of our food plazas that offer the best of tandoors, pizzas, pastas, grills and even mouth-watering Indian street food! We also have a special section of Jain Food, so that you can enjoy a delightful meal while sticking to your dietary preferences,” the cruise line wrote, adding that a range of confectionery and sweet delights will also be available.

Entertainment-wise, Cordelia promises “groovy night clubs” and casinos, as well as five different bars.

For cruises in June and July 2021, Cordelia Cruises offers free tickets for kids up to 12 years old.

Onboard, facilities like a swimming pool and rock climbing wall will be offered, as well as a “dedicated area for educational and fun activities for kids of all age groups.”  

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